Question: I have not been living with my wife for the last 6+ months. She is an alcoholic. I’ve told my kids not to get in the car with her if they suspect she’s been drinking at all. If she gets in an accident driving, what can I do to protect my kids from her?
Answer: My first question is why are you waiting until after she gets into an accident? I do not know how old your children are but are they able to tell when mom has been drinking? If she is drinking and driving and your children have had to make the choice to not get in the car, this says to me that your wife would have driven with the kids in the car. Your first step is to run, not walk, to the offices of a domestic litigation attorney to discuss how you can protect your children. I do not practice in California; therefore I cannot give you specific advice as to the methods you can take to protect your children.
The mother is your wife, have you filed for divorce? If so, you would want to ask the court for a temporary order placing the children with you with a requirement that your wife seek treatment for her alcohol abuse prior to the court allowing unsupervised visitation with the children. You should contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in California right away to explore all of your options at this point in your separation.
Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.